More than 600,000 flu vaccines have been distributed to general practitioners and immunisation providers in response to the high number of flu cases this season.
SA Health’s Director of the Communicable Disease Control Branch, Dr Louise Flood, said enough doses have been distributed to vaccinate more than 100 per cent of those who are eligible for free flu shots, under the National Immunisation Program.
“To keep up with the demand for the flu vaccine this year, we have distributed 613,000 doses of flu vaccine, which is 102,000 more doses than we distributed in 2018,” Dr Flood said.
“We have distributed enough doses to reach 102 per cent of South Australians aged 65 years and over who are eligible to receive the free vaccine.
“In the State-funded program for young children aged less than five years, we have distributed almost 87,000 doses, which is 37,000 more than last year and enough to provide one vaccine to 96 per cent of all eligible children.
“It’s not unusual during the flu season for people to have to look around for a GP or immunisation provider that has the vaccine in stock.
“When you make an appointment, let the clinic know that you are after a flu shot and they will be able to advise whether they can provide the vaccine to you.
“Although we have distributed enough vaccine to reach more than 100 per cent of the eligible population, we still have a limited amount of stock on hand in our warehouse and while we don’t anticipate any shortage, people may still need to shop around.”
SA Health distributes flu vaccines on behalf of the Commonwealth’s National Immunisation Program.
As of 22 June 2019, there have been 18,883 influenza cases reported in South Australia, compared to 1,493 cases at the same time in 2018. Of those cases, 95 per cent have been influenza A.
There have been 44 influenza related deaths reported for 2019